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BC September Barometer: business owners growing optimistic about future, short-term indicators show difficult, uphill climb to recovery

VANCOUVER, September 24, 2020 – The monthly Business Barometer® index for British Columbia grew 2.5 points in September, reaching an index of 59.3 according to the latest survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The 12-month indicator, which asks entrepreneurs if they expect a stronger or weaker performance a year from now, suggests business owners are more optimistic about the future relative to where they are at right now.  

“The resilience of small business owners is incredible. The continued climb in long-term optimism is evident of their drive to keep their business alive,” says Muriel Protzer, Senior Policy Analyst, BC and the North. “That being said, many small business owners are struggling to map out what the road to recovery looks like. The future still holds a lot of uncertainty, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shift our new normal,” adds Protzer.

While the 12-month indicator shows rising long-term optimism, the 3-month indicator shows many short-term challenges remain. The 3-month indicator rose 1.2 points in September reaching an index of 40.5. This suggests that the number of small business owners expecting a weaker performance exceed those expecting a stronger performance.

“There is an urgent need for continued small business support. It is important all political parties bring forward strong initiatives to support local businesses, jobs, and our economy during the upcoming election. Even more important is that those promises are followed through,” says Protzer. 

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. An index level of between 65 and 75 means that the economy is growing at its potential. 

To view the full report, please visit  

The provincial numbers for September were: Nova Scotia (65.8), Ontario (65.4), New Brunswick (64.5), BC (59.3), Alberta (59.2), Newfoundland (55.8), Saskatchewan (55.0), PEI (50.0), Quebec (45.2).

Methodology - Barometer
The September findings are based on 874 responses from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received from September 2 to 14. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.3 per cent 19 times in 20.  

To arrange an interview with Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst, about the BC results, please call 604-684-5325 or email [email protected] after 8:30 AM PT. To interview Chief Economist, Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 416-222-8022. For more information, visit

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at


September 24, 2020

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Topics in this Article: Economic Indicators

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